Cud­dles AHEAD

Mother & Baby (Australia) - - Realadvice -

QCould you please clar­ify the sit­u­a­tion with soft toys and young chil­dren? Can my two-year-old daugh­ter have cud­dly toys in bed?

AChild health nurse Sharon Don­ald­son says: A favourite soft toy can be a mem­o­rable, com­fort­ing part of child­hood. How­ever, it’s con­sid­ered un­safe for your child to take a soft toy to bed with her dur­ing her first year due to the risk of smoth­er­ing while asleep. From about 12 to 18 months, young chil­dren of­ten de­velop at­tach­ments to teddy bears, dolls or com­forters such as their old swad­dle/wrap or blan­ket. Hav­ing a fa­mil­iar toy helps chil­dren through clingy tod­dler phases and, once your daugh­ter is over the age of one, it’s okay to in­clude a favourite soft cud­dly toy as part of her bed­time rou­tine. If you feel un­com­fort­able leav­ing soft toys in your tod­dler’s bed, then you can al­ways re­move it when she is asleep. Although the risk of smoth­er­ing is greatly re­duced due to your child’s de­vel­op­ment and in­creas­ing ac­tiv­ity while she is asleep, you still need to be very care­ful when it comes to choos­ing a soft, cud­dly toy. Avoid toys with parts that can come off (like sewn-on but­ton eyes) or with wire that could poke your baby. I’d also rec­om­mend hav­ing more than one of the same toy if it’s a favourite, in case it gets lost or is in need of ur­gent wash­ing!

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